My son is a mass of want. A maestrom of need. He needs a new pair of football boots. He needs cycling shoes. Cycling shoes??? Really? I bite my lip and resist the urge to say that, in my day, one had a pair of plimsolls and that was it – none of this ‘trainers for this, trainers for that’ malarkey. To be fair, he buys his own stuff but still.
‘Can’t you wait?’ I ask.
‘No. I want them now,’ he mutters, clicking ‘Next Day Delivery’ with glee.
I sigh. Sixteen and already the consumer world has its teeth in his throat. When I ask him what he wants to do, what would make his soul sing, he says ‘Make money.’ I guess all teenagers rebel against their parents, huh?
There’s not much I really want – not material things anyhow. But occasionally, just occasionally something makes my fingers twitch with desire. And, well, you know this ‘thing’ I have for snugly throws? For the last five years I have been hankering after one particular one. It’s wolf fur - fake of course – but just the softest, most beautiful thing. Every so often, when I go away on retreat, there is something soft and snugly on the bed and – childish, I know – I snap a pic of myself embraced by softness. But so far it hasn’t been exactly The One.
|at Clinique La Prairie|
|At Yobaba Lounge|
I’m a tactile beast – silky water, the hot kiss of fire, the caress of satin and cashmere. Those are the skin-songs that seduce my soul. But, of all these, there is nothing that beats the feel of fur on skin. Maybe it’s atavism. Maybe my DNA remembers a time when I curled up in caves, drenched in fur against winter’s sharp bite? Or maybe, who knows, I just yearn to get back into my own skin?
A local shop has one (a brown wolfish snugly throw) and, once a year, every time they have a sale, I sneak in and stroke it softly and look hopefully at the price ticket. But it’s still too much, even in the sale, and I can’t justify it, I just can’t - not when we need logs or oil or whatever. And so I walk away and I tell myself, hey, it’s just a thing. Who needs things? And we don’t. But we do need feelings. We need sensuality. We need softness.
Anyhow. It was my birthday the other day and yesterday this parcel arrived. A big fat squishy parcel. And – yes - you guessed it…there it was. My wolf. My soft, soft wolfskin. My mouth fell open, not in a perfect O but in a sort of slack-jawed village idiot way.
‘Oh. My. God.’
‘What is it?’ said Adrian. ‘Is it something for James?’
‘No, it’s for me,’ I replied.
‘Oh,’ he said. ‘Who’s it from?’ Peering over my shoulder at the label.
‘It’s from Sandie,’ I said, pulling it out, rubbing it against my nose, against my cheek, wrapping it around my shoulders.
‘What is it?’
‘It’s a snugly throw. THE snugly throw,’ I said, not quite sure whether to burst into a grin or into tears. You see, it’s a bit of a symbol, this. A bit emotional.
‘Well, it will keep you warm,’ he said. ‘No need for more logs.’
‘Indeed,’ I said.
And, last night, I curled up on the sofa in front of the dead fire and wrapped it around me and felt…almost safe. The cave curled around me and, in comforting warmth, there was no need for words. Just feelings.
And it occurred to me, embraced in the sweet softness, that waiting can be good. How much more does one appreciate something that doesn’t come easily, that can’t come with a click, that doesn’t offer instant, greedy gratification?